Using natural colours

Have you ever thought about using herbs and spices to colour your food rather than to simply flavour it?

We’ve put together a few recipes below which should inspire you! Whether you like to cook, bake or both, you can easily jazz up some of your favourite recipes with a small pinch of ingredients such as turmeric, beetroot, paprika, spinach or spirulina. It might take a couple of attempts to balance the colour vs. the flavour but it will definitely be worthwhile.

If you’re really keen to delve in to experimenting with natural colours, check out this amazing turtle bread from Sarah at www.cakestudent.com 

Turtle bread

 

Turmeric Buns

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp organic turmeric
  • 1 tbsp dry instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds

Instructions

  • Mix dry ingredients except the yeast and sugar.

  • Mix the yeast, sugar and a little of the water in a bowl.

  • Add the olive oil, the yeast mix, and rest of water and mix until you have a soft dough.

  • Allow to rise for about 40 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven at 180C.

  • Divide though dough into 8 and roll into 8 balls. It may help to wet your hands slightly.

  • Sprinkle to poppy seeds on top before allowing to rise for another 30 minutes.

  • Bake for 35 minutes or until golden.

Beetroot and Dark Chocolate Macaron

Ingredients

For the macaroons

  • 120g egg whites divided into 2 equal batched of 60g each
  • 35g granulated sugar
  • 150g finely ground almonds
  • 2 tsp beetroot powder
  • 150g icing sugar

For the sugar syrup

  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 50g water

For the filling

  • 115g chopped dark chocolate (or dark chocolate chips)
  • 115g heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter at room temperature

Instructions

  • Line your baking trays with silicon baking paper.

  • Mix the ground almonds, betroot and the icing sugar in a food processor for about 2/3 minutes. Sift the blended mixture into a bowl and discard of the big lumps that have been left behind.

  • Whisk 60g of egg whites and add to the almond/sugar mixture. It will form quite a stiff mixture.

  • Whisk the remaining 60g of the egg whites to soft peaks and then add 35g sugar.

  • Put the sugar and water in a saucepan to make the syrup. Heat until it reaches 118 C. Slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and whisk on medium/high speed for about 10-15 minutes. The meringue will have become shiny and will have cooled.

  • Add a quarter of the meringue to the almond/sugar mixture. Mix well so that the mixture loosens. Now fold in the remaining meringue a quarter at a time. Mix until the two mixtures are completely combined and it has a little fluidity to it. To test this hold up the spoon and it should fall back in to the bowl slowly. If it runs quickly like a ribbon it will be over mixed.

  • Fit a piping bag with a plain tip and add the mixture. Pipe the macaroons on to the baking sheet. Make them the size you want – I usually do about 5 cm across.

  • Leave to rest so that the macaroon forms a skin – when it is touched your finger will not pick up any of the macaroon mixture. This can take anything from 15 mins – 1/2 hours depending on the weather.

  • Bake at 150 C for 15-25 minutes.

  • Check to see if macaroons are done by grabbing the top of one macaroon and trying to shake it. They are done when the top barely slides against the skirt. If they are not done, extend baking time by two minutes intervals, checking after each extension. When ready leave on a cooling rack. Don't remove the shells off the parchment paper as soon as the tray comes out of the oven, else you will break the shell. Wait for 2-3 minutes at least for it to cool down.

  • To make the Ganache, put the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan till it just begins to boil. Add it to the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate melts. Add in the vanilla extract and soft butter and mix till silky smooth.Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 30-40 minutes.

  • Sandwich 2 macaroon together with the ganache.

Black Sesame Macaroons with a Black Sesame and Honey Buttercream

Ingredients

For the macaroons

  • 120g egg whites divided into 2 equal batches of 60g each
  • 35g granulated sugar
  • 110g finely ground almonds
  • 40g black sesame seeds dry roasted, then finely ground in a processor
  • 150g icing sugar

For the sugar syrup

  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 50g water

For the filling

  • 120g butter
  • 240g icing sugar
  • 20g black sesame seeds dry roasted, then finely ground in a processor
  • 40g runny honey

Instructions

  • Line your baking trays with silicon baking paper.

  • Toast the black sesame seed in a heavy bottom pan. Grind the black sesame seeds, the ground almonds and the icing sugar in a food processor for about 2/3 minutes. Sift the blended mixture into a bowl and discard of the big lumps that have been left behind.

  • Whisk 60g of egg whites and add to the almond/sugar mixture. It will form quite a stiff mixture.

  • Whisk the remaining 60g of the egg whites to soft peaks and then add 35g sugar.

  • Put the sugar and water in a saucepan to make the syrup. Heat until it reaches 118 C. Slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and whisk on medium/high speed for about 10-15 minutes. The meringue will have become shiny and will have cooled.

  • Add a quarter of the meringue to the almond/sugar mixture. Mix well so that the mixture loosens. Now fold in the remaining meringue a quarter at a time. Mix until the two mixtures are completely combined and it has a little fluidity to it. To test this hold up the spoon and it should fall back in to the bowl slowly. If it runs quickly like a ribbon it will be over mixed.

  • Fit a piping bag with a plain tip and add the mixture. Pipe the macaroons on to the baking sheet. Make them the size you want – I usually do about 5 cm across.

  • Sprinkle the tops with some black sesame seeds

  • Leave to rest so that the macaroon forms a skin – when it is touched your finger will not pick up any of the macaroon mixture. This can take anything from 15 mins – 1/2 hours depending on the weather.

  • Bake at 150 C for 15-25 minutes.

    Check to see if macaroons are done by grabbing the top of one macaroon and trying to shake it. They are done when the top barely slides against the skirt. If they are not done, extend baking time by two minutes intervals, checking after each extension. When ready leave on a cooling rack.

  • Make the buttercream by whisking all the ingredients together.

  • Sandwich 2 macaroon together with the buttercream.

About the Author

Georgia

As an animal lover and baking enthusiast, Georgia can often be found experimenting with plant-based recipes in her kitchen.

Share this Post